The Oconee County Industrial Development Authority on Friday postponed its meeting to consider issuance of bonds for construction of Presbyterian Village Athens on U.S. 441 at Hog Mountain Road that had been scheduled for tomorrow (Monday).
County Clerk Kathy Hayes sent out notice of the postponement of the Authority meeting at 10:30 a.m. on Friday but did not give an explanation of the decision to postpone the meeting.
Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chair John Daniell had said after the Commission meeting on Sept. 25 that the bond sales would be on the Authority agenda for the meeting tomorrow.
The Authority passed a resolution in May indicating its willingness to issue bonds for Presbyterian Homes for up to $150 million.
Oconee County Attorney Daniel Haygood said on Friday that final paperwork was incomplete for the bonds but that the “the best current number is $124,040,000" in bond sales.
Prebyterian Homes of Georgia held a groundbreaking on Sept. 21 for the 70-acre facility at 8021 Macon Highway (U.S. 441).
|Sign At Construction Site 10/7/2018|
As of Friday afternoon, the only permits the county has issued for construction of the facility was a land disturbance permit on Sept. 21, 2017.
The county held a TEFRA hearing on Sept. 6, as required by the federal Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, to give the public an opportunity to comment on the use of the tax-exempt bonds.
Several of those who spoke questioned why the county was issuing the bonds for Westminster Presbyterian Homes Inc. of Quitman, a nonprofit organization that is building Presbyterian Village Athens.
At that time, Presbyterian Homes was using the figure of $155 million for the bonds.
The county web site does not contain an agenda for the meeting that was scheduled for tomorrow, but Hayes said she will send out an agenda before the meeting now scheduled for Oct. 15.
Daniell had told me on Sept. 25 that the expectation was that the Presbyterian Homes bonds would be on tomorrow’s Authority agenda.
Generally, the Authority allows citizen comment only at the end of its meetings, after the Authority has taken action on items on the agenda.
Daniell told me he had not yet decided if he would sign approval of the bond sales after the Authority acts without action of the Board of Commissioners, as is allowed by law, or if he would bring the matter before the full Board.
If the issue does come before the Board, citizens normally would have an opportunity to speak and raise questions at that time.
They can't even sell Gateway Technical Park and now the IDA wants us to invest in another park that might or might not be filled? One park at a time fellows.
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